Social Scientists and the Human Terrain System (HTS) Project

TitleSocial Scientists and the Human Terrain System (HTS) Project
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2013
Corporate AuthorsNational Academy of Engineering, OEC
Date Published10/2013
PublisherNational Academy of Engineering, Online Ethics Center
Publication LanguageEnglish
KeywordsANTHROPOLOGY , Dual , Dual Use , ECONOMICS , GEOGRAPHY , HUMAN rights , SOCIAL , SOCIAL responsibility , SOCIAL sciences
AbstractSince 2005, the U.S. Army has deployed teams of social scientists to areas of conflict to develop social and cultural knowledge about local populations as an aid to military decision-making. The American Anthropological Association (AAA) sees ethical problems with using social science methodologies, particularly ethnography, to further military goals and believes that the HTS program specifically violates the AAA’s Code of Ethics. A part of the Research, Ethics, and Society project, this case can be used to address the social responsibilities of researchers, particularly those concerning cross-cultural contexts and scientists and engineers and their involvement in or opposition to military projects.
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